This season has been a wild ride. We’ve seen incredible performances, epic finishes and more. All that can give you whiplash as you try to keep up. If you play Dynasty, you’re in it for the long haul. Still, it’s a weekly game and you have to ride the ebbs-and-flows and see what it can mean for the trajectory of a player. That’s what the Stock Watch is all about. We watch the games, process the information and try to forecast where players are headed. After all, getting ahead of the curve is the way to succeed. So, below you’ll find one player that improved their position and one that’s going the wrong way from each position. Use this as a guide as you’re trying to make moves and evaluate your team this week!
Stock Up: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
About: Lawrence was supposed to be a can’t-miss prospect coming out of college. He was taken No. 1 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and, for most, was an easy pick atop Superflex rookie drafts. The thing is, his rookie campaign was derailed by a toxic coaching situation fostered by Urban Meyer. At times as a rookie, Lawrence looked lost. He finished with a completion percentage below 60 percent, 3,941 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. It wasn’t inspiring. Turns out, coaching can make a huge difference. The Jaguars are 2-1, coming off a 38-10 win over the Chargers on Sunday. And a big part of the team’s success has been Lawrence, who’s now completing 69 percent of his passes and has thrown for 776 yards, six touchdowns, and only one interception. He’s also QB10 on the season, starting to show the form and production that made him such an exciting prospect. For those that were able to buy low, it’s all working out!
Stock Down: Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
About: The Bears moved up to snag Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft. He was viewed as one of the best quarterback prospects and fell to the Bears. It seemed to be a steal at the time. But Fields didn’t click with former Head Coach Matt Nagy. He started just 10 games in 2021, going 2-8 while completing less than 59 percent of his passes. He threw for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns, and ten interceptions. This off-season, the Bears didn’t exactly build around him. The offensive playmakers and offensive line are a work in progress. Still, Fields’ numbers are concerning. While the Bears are also 2-1, it hasn’t been because of his prowess as a passer. In three games, Fields has attempted just 45 passes, completing 51.1 percent of those for 297 yards, two touchdowns, and four interceptions. Less than 100 yards and a touchdown per game. He’s also only carried 27 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. All that’s left him as QB29. The Bears are winning but if you’re starting Fields in fantasy, you likely aren’t. And there are few signs of improvement this season. If you believe in Fields’ talent and the long-term prospects, this could be a great buy-low window. I want to believe, but this start is discouraging.
Stock Up: Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
About: While much of the Bears’ offense has been a slog, the one bright spot through three games is Herbert. The second-year back showed flashes filling in for David Montgomery in 2021. He finished with 433 yards and two touchdowns on just 103 carries as a rookie. Still, heading into 2022 it seemed like Herbert was the No. 2 back waiting in the wings. With Montgomery in a contract year, it was a good time to stash Herbert. Well, your buy-low window might have slammed shut. Herbert has been involved with Montgomery in the lineup, but when Montgomery exited with an injury in Week 3, Herbert responded with 157 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Through three games, he has 240 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. That’s even more remarkable given he’s shared the load and the Bears’ passing attack has struggled. He’s RB8 through three games, putting the Bears in a position where they have to consider his role moving forward even in 2022. It’s a stash that’s paying off handsomely.
Stock Down: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
About: Sometimes in Dynasty, it’s better to be ahead of the curve. Jacobs is in the final year of his contract after the Raiders didn’t pick up his Fifth Year Option. He’s currently sitting as RB29 and has rushed 42 times for 192 yards, catching seven passes for 59 yards. None of that is bad. He’s been a decent flex option, and he’s still getting volume as the Raiders’ lead back—for now. The thing is, there’s been nothing special about Jacobs’ performance. He also has no security with no contract beyond this season, toiling on an 0-3 team in a tough division. For a contending team, he could be a bargaining chip. If it’s me, I’m looking at moving Jacobs now rather than gambling on a coach who has traditionally loved to use running back by committee and been loathe to commit to a feature back he didn’t draft.
Stock Up: Isaiah McKenzie, Buffalo Bills
About: Receiver is one of the deepest positions in fantasy, but also one of the most needed. Many leagues start three receivers in addition to multiple flex options. You need a large and diverse group of receivers on your team. The same is true in the NFL. When the Bills let Emmanuel Sanders retire and released Cole Beasley, it was easy to see that meant more opportunities for Gabe Davis. But he’s not the only one. Isaiah McKenzie is a journeyman player who’s only occasionally been a part of the offense—until this year. McKenzie has been a featured part of the receiver rotation, seeing 15 targets and turning that into 11 receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns in three games. For a guy that saw only 20 receptions in all of 2021, that’s a big step up. McKenzie is WR35 on the season, not flashy but worth starting in a flex spot weekly. That’s great value for a player who is still carrying an ADP of WR61.
Stock Down: Sterling Shepherd, New York Giants
About: You hate to see it. Late in the Monday night loss for the Giants, Shepherd went down clutching his knee on a non-contact play. He left the field on a cart, waving to the fans. It’s being reported he suffered a serious knee injury that will likely end his season. Shepherd was off to a strong start for the 2-1 Giants, seeing 24 targets and catching 13 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Now, he’s out. Shepherd has had talent and potential but it’s been availability and production that have been a struggle. He played only seven games in 2021, 12 games in 2020, and ten games in 2019. He has only played a full season twice, and not since 2018. This was a prove-it year with Shepherd returning on a one-year contract. He might get another and might produce at times, but for those holding on to his potential as a regular contributor in dynasty leagues, it looks like time to move on.
Stock Up: Tyler Conklin, New York Jets
About: This off-season the Jets made a lot of moves at tight end. They signed Conklin and C.J. Uzomah, then drafted Jeremy Ruckert. It was fair to wonder who would step up. The answer has been Conklin. He’s seen 24 targets and caught 18 for 140 yards and a touchdown. I can understand potentially wondering how the offense might change with Zach Wilson back at the helm but given the fluid nature of the tight end position, a player averaging eight targets and six receptions a game seems like a solid bet.
Stock Down: Austin Hooper, Tennessee Titans
About: Once upon a time, Hooper was one of the best tight ends in fantasy, fresh off signing a lucrative deal with the Cleveland Browns. It didn’t pan out over the two years in Cleveland, with Hooper being released this off-season and landing in a receiver-needy situation in Tennessee. Once again, hope sprang eternal. Through three weeks, it’s looking like false hope. Through three weeks, Hooper has seen just nine targets, catching four passes for 44 yards. Those who waited on a tight end in the hope Hooper could be their guy had best make other arrangements.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.